Oracle has released to general availability the Java Standard Edition 8 (Java SE 8) specifications and Oracle's own Java Development Kit (JDK) 8 implementation a week before the official launch of the platform.
Available now from Oracle's website, Java SE 8 is billed as a major feature release claimed to deliver significant application performance increases, simpler parallel programming models and more efficient use of multi-core processors.
One of the main features that Oracle is touting in Java 8 is support for Lambda Expressions, which the firm describes as the ability to treat functions as method arguments or code as data, but which is expected to enhance the ability of developers to handle parallelisation in code.
Other enhancements include Compact Profiles, which are predefined subsets of the Java SE platform enabling applications that do not require the full Java SE Platform to be deployed and run on small devices.
The new version also supports a Stream API to support functional-style operations on streams of elements, according to Oracle. This is integrated into the Collections API, which enables bulk operations on collections, such as sequential or parallel map-reduce transformations.
A broad number of security enhancements include enabling of client-side Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2 by default, and stronger algorithms for password-based encryption.
The new Java also includes Java Mission Control 5.3 with usability improvements to allow administrators and developers to gather detailed low-level information about Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and Java application behaviour, Oracle said.
Oracle's release of Java SE 8 and JDK 8 follows two years and eight months from the release of the previous Java 7 platform. An official launch event for the new version is scheduled for 25 March.
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